Solar-powered healthcare infrastructure in Sierra Leone
Seeking to strengthen its rural health facilities after the Ebola epidemic, the Sierra Leone Government launched the Rural Renewable Electrification Project (RREP) along with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). In its first phase, 54 rural healthcare centres were electrified by solar panels. In the second phase, these clinics served as demand centres for building 50 mini-grids to electrify surrounding rural households and businesses. The operation and maintenance was handed to private companies. In order to create an enabling framework for enhanced private sector involvement, the Sierra Leone government formulated a mini-grid regulation to safeguard the interests of all the stakeholders. The project will benefit more than 360,000 rural residents in addition to delivering welfare benefits such as strong healthcare infrastructure and local jobs.